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Blockade Can’t Stop Qatar From Suppling UK With Gas

Doha

British orders of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar continue as scheduled, despite the GCC’s ongoing blockade against Doha, which is approaching its 90-day mark.

Qatar supplies 20 percent of Britain’s natural gas.

Just in the past four weeks, British ports have received one million meters worth of scheduled gas orders, according to the Middle East Monitor.

Doha dodged the worst logistical obstacles of the blockade by shifting its main export hub from the United Arab Emirates to Oman when the row first became public. Now, Qatar’s energy leaders are optimistic, feeling the ordeal has made the country’s logistics more robust.

In mid-July, diplomats from Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates signaled that they no longer wanted Qatar to comply with 13 specific demands levied in June. Instead, they proposed six broad principles that they wanted Qatar to sign onto. The principles included denying safe havens and financing to terrorists, combating terrorism and extremism, stopping incitement of hatred and violence, and refraining from interfering in the internal politics of other countries, the New York Times reported. Later, the blockading nations said Doha would have to adhere to the previous 13 demands after all.

So far, neither side has budged. Qatar will not bend to Saudi’s domineering wishes and the KSA will not back down from its vision of a politically united group of Sunni monarchies as a bulwark against Shiite Iran.

Related: Qatar Aims To Ease Its Reliance On LNG Exports

Qatar’s wealth plays a large role in preventing it from surrendering to Riyadh’s will. The country’s central bank has $40 billion in cash reserves plus gold, while the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has $300 billion in reserves that it could liquidate, the Governor of Qatar Central Bank, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saud Al-Thani, told CNBC in an interview in early July, one month into the blockade.

“We have enough cash to preserve any - any kind of shock,” the governor said.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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